Radiometric dating science definition Sexjobs

Perhaps the most widely used evidence for the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection is the fossil record.The fossil record may be incomplete and may never fully completed, but there are still many clues to evolution and how it happens within the fossil record.One way that helps scientists place fossils into the correct era on the Geologic Time Scale is by using radiometric dating.

This technique relies on the property of half-life.

Half-life is defined as the time it takes for one half of a radioactive element to decay into a daughter isotope.

As radioactive isotopes of elements decay, they lose their radio activity and become a brand new element known as a daughter isotope.

By measuring the ratio of the amount of the original radioactive element to the daughter isotope, scientists can determine how many half-lives the element has undergone and from there can figure out the absolute age of the sample.

The half-lives of several radioactive isotopes are known and are used often to figure out the age of newly found fossils.

Different isotopes have different half-lives and sometimes more than one present isotope can be used to get an even more specific age of a fossil.

Below is a chart of commonly used radiometric isotopes, their half-lives, and the daughter isotopes they decay into.

Let's say you have found a fossil you think to be a human skeleton.

The best radioactive element to use to date human fossils is Carbon-14.

Tags: , ,